Friday, August 15, 2014

Music Friday: Anita Baker Bets Everything on Her Wedding Ring in 1989’s Top R&B Song, ‘Giving You the Best That I Got’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present the soulful Anita Baker singing her biggest hit and 1989’s top R&B song, "Giving You the Best That I Got."


In this entrancing love song co-written by Baker, Randy Holland and Skip Scarborough, the eight-time Grammy Award winner makes a solemn vow: “I bet everything on my wedding ring / I'm giving you the best that I got.”

Released in September 1988, the song was both a commercial and critical success, as it resonated with R&B fans as well as a broad crossover audience. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and at an impressive #3 on the broad-based Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Giving You the Best That I Got," which appears on Baker’s 3x platinum album of the same name, yielded five Grammy nominations and three Grammy Awards — two in the exact same category in back-to-back years (We’ll explain).

In 1989, she won Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and earned nominations that year for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. In 1990, she won another Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Because the single was released in September 1988 (just before the cutoff for 1989 Grammy eligibility) and the album was released in October 1988 (just after the 1989 award cutoff), Baker was able to take home the Vocal Performance Grammy twice for the same song.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, and abandoned at the age of two, Baker was raised by a foster family in Detroit until she was 12. Sadly, both her foster parents died and Baker went through her adolescence in the custody of her foster sister.

In 1974, at the age of 16, Baker began singing at Detroit nightclubs. Soon after, she was discovered by bandleader David Washington, who helped launch her stellar career. By the age of 17, she was touring professionally with the funk band, Chapter 8.

We know you will enjoy the official video of Anita Baker’s “Giving You the Best That I Got.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Giving You the Best That I Got”
Written by Anita Baker, Randy Holland and Skip Scarborough

Ain't there something I can give you
In exchange for everything you give to me
Read my mind and make me feel just fine
When I think my peace of mind is out of reach

The scales are sometimes unbalanced
And you bear the weight of all that has to be
I hope you see that you can lean on me
And together we can calm a stormy sea

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I tell you now that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, baby
Yes, I tell you now, that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, honey

Everybody's got opinions
'Bout the way they think our story's gonna end
Some folks feel it's just a superficial thrill
Everybody's gonna have to think again

We love so strong and so unselfishly
They don't bother me so I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, baby
They don't bother me, said I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, listen baby

Somebody understands me
Somebody gave his heart to me
I stumbled my whole life long
Always on my own, now I'm home

My weary mind is rested
And I feel as if my home is in your arms
Fears are all gone, I like the sound of your song
And I think I wanna sing it forever

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I made a vow so I tell you now
I'm giving you the best that I got, listen baby
I bet everything on my wedding ring
I'm giving you the best that I got
Givin' it to you baby

Giving you the best that I got
Giving you the best that I got
Giving you the best that I got

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Four Ultra-Rare Fancy Red Diamonds to Highlight Argyle Sale; Each Should Fetch $1 Million to $2 Million Per Carat

Fancy red diamonds are so rare that over the 30-year history of the iconic Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender only 13 have come to market. The 2014 edition of the tender will feature a record four such diamonds, including the spectacular Argyle Cardinal™, a 1.21-carat radiant-cut fancy red.


STARS OF THE SHOW: Four fancy red diamonds, including the 1.21-carat Argyle Cardinal (second from left). Photo supplied by Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto, which owns the Argyle Mine in Western Australia, recently showcased the four red diamonds — along with 51 top-quality pink and purplish-red diamonds — to a select group of 150 customers and the press. The annual tender represents the pinnacle of the mining company’s production.

The Sydney event marked the beginning of a two-month promotional tour that will offer tender viewings in New York, Hong Kong and Perth. Bidding on the stones will close on October 8.

Red and pink diamonds demand a high price — typically 50 times greater than similar white diamonds, according to Rio Tinto. The four red diamonds in the tender are expected to fetch from $1 million to $2 million per carat. Just last year, the 1.56-carat Argyle Phoenix™ sold for more than $2 million to a Singapore-based jeweler.

“Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world’s entire source of rare pink and red diamonds,” said Rio Tinto’s managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr. The company boasts that Argyle produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds.

It is believed that red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust. By contrast, other colored diamonds get their color from trace elements, such as boron (yielding a blue diamond) or nitrogen (yielding yellow), in their chemical composition.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sadness Turns to Gladness for Fla. Couple Whose Engagement Ring Was Accidentally Donated to Goodwill

The young Florida couple that made national headlines last month when their $6,000 engagement ring was accidentally donated to Goodwill was back in the news on Friday when a local jeweler came to the rescue with a replacement ring.


Early last month, Corey Todd's marriage proposal plans earned national attention — including a segment on the TODAY show — because the engagement ring he had hidden in the pocket of an old pair of dress pants cluttering a guest room closet was accidentally donated to charity.

Todd had hidden the ring for nearly a month and was planning a July 7 proposal. But, on July 2, girlfriend Jacelyn Penton gave the dress pants and other old clothes to Goodwill.

A day later, Todd noticed the missing clothes and realized the ring was gone with them. “I was at a loss for words,” Todd told the News Herald. “My stomach dropped.”

The couple made an attempt to recover the ring from Goodwill, but it couldn't be located and no one turned it in.


The story of Corey and Jacelyn tugged the heartstrings of people from all over the country. TODAY show hosts Willie Geist and Tamron Hall went to bat for the couple by dedicating a large part of their July 8 opening segment to the couple's plight. Todd had saved up for three years to buy the engagement ring.

Said Hall, "Let's try to help him out. Someone's got the pants. We're rooting for you, Corey."

“I feel for [him],” said Geist. “That’s painful.”

Despite the media attention, the ring was never found and Todd was forced to postpone his proposal to Penton, the love of his life since the first day he met her in middle school 20 years earlier.


This past week, the couple's sadness turned to gladness when Panama City's Maharaja's gifted the couple with a brand new engagement ring.


On Friday, Todd and a news crew from a local NBC-TV affiliate surprised Penton at her workplace, HealthSouth Emerald Coast Rehabilitation Hospital. The nervous suitor finally got to propose — with the cameras rolling. "The hard part is getting down on one knee, and not passing out," Todd told WJHG.


During the heart-wrenching previous month, Penton admitted she was saddened by the real possibility that she may never experience the moment of an actual proposal. "I always knew we wanted to marry each other," she said. "It just really hurt me that I probably [would] never feel that way. And I did, today!"

The couple is planning a September 2015 wedding.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Finders Keepers! Treasure Hunters Scramble to Find ‘Diamond in the Sky’ – A $20,000 Bauble Shot Into Space

Eager treasure hunters are hot on the trail of a 1.14-carat modified cushion diamond valued at $20,000 that was recently launched into space via helium balloon from a field in Derbyshire, UK. When the balloon hit a critical altitude, it burst, sending the bauble parachuting back to earth. The lucky person who finds the precious gem will get to keep it.


The UK Aviation Authority (CAA) and online retailer 77 Diamonds teamed to launch the gem into space. According to the retailer, the diamond was fitted with a tracking device and rose to an altitude of 100,000 feet until atmospheric pressure at the edge of space burst the balloon after an amazing 60-mile, 150-minute journey.


The diamond was then released toward earth, safely nestled inside a red foil box attached to a bright orange parachute. The anticipated landing area was estimated to encompass more than 60 miles around Lincolnshire, but the diamond is reportedly within a five-mile radius of Lea near Gainsborough, about 150 miles north of London.


Jewelry retailer 77 Diamonds created the unique PR stunt to raise awareness of its "interactive universe," Diamonds in the Sky. This technology allows users to fill a virtual night sky with thousands of stars, each one unique and named after someone or something special.

The firm has been tweeting clues using #diamondinthesky for gem seekers who wish to join in the search. More than 6,500 people have joined the conversation and more than 8,400 are following it. Kate Dixon, a spokesperson for 77 Diamonds, tweeted today that "as it stands, the diamond is still up for grabs.”


Modified cushion brilliants like the one used for this stunt are a popular variation on the cushion brilliant shape. This cut boasts an extra row of facets just below the girdle, resembling a flower shape and a “sparkling water” or “crushed ice” appearance. This alluring cut caught the eye of Hollywood A-Listers Kim Kardashian and Jessica Biel, who both chose it for their engagement rings.

Photos: Courtesy 77 Diamonds/Stian Alexander